In Imran Khan’s PTI, a major shift in Pakistan’s rightists’ polity is clearly visible. As the TTP’s suicide attacks, barbaric self-defined Sharia of terrorists and Islam of the former dictator Gen Zia ul Haq have disillusioned everyone in Pakistan, the rightists and their ‘creators’ are testing new tools and tactics to inundate the country’s streets with its forthcoming 'tsunami'. The party, its leaders and ‘string pullers’ are using new tricks to win support in Pakistan’s right, moderate and left circles.
The trick #1 is the selling out of its leaders to the masses and the world. PTI’s leaders, in the first place, are clean-shaven men widely seen in 3-piece suites, well-versed in English, and perfectly looking modern liberals in appearances. However, their beards are hidden in their tummies—look at Imran Khan. He is a former sportsman, a London playboy, western educated and hot among youth in appearances. His politics and rhetorics are, however, only benefiting Pakistan’s bad guys. He is a great supporter of Taliban, Pakistan’s top protester against drones, admirer of Pakistan’s hate promoting religious clerics and a baby of the security establishment that faces serious accusations of plotting coup against the elected civilian government, sheltering Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and cleansing the country of liberals and dissidents.
The second heavy weight is Shah Mehmood Qurishi—a former foreign minister of PPP, wearing 1st class black suites, design ties and an ambitious young politician. Ideologically, he never moved from his fixed rung but his ambitions or ‘error of judgment’ forced him and his family back and forth, defecting here and there. He is a true son of General Zia’s religious ‘pragmatic’ system. His credentials couldn’t make him PPP’s prime minister and ended up as a dissident foreign minister of Pakistan. However, on Raymand Davis issue, he rejoined the forces from where he got his genes—that was very much natural. His joining of PTI is yet another example, showing him where he comes from.
Javed Hashmi, PML (N) starlet—imagine him in a beard and he will not fall short of his 1st time political comrades—Jama’at-e-Islami activists. His political choices are throughout ‘right’. A Jama’ati by origin, follower of Gen Zia, leader among the ‘made in establishment’ Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) in late 80s, and his years with PML, are clearly visible on his resume. A known politician for his tirades against generals in the last few years but his sayings didn’t match with what he did by joining the PTI.
PTI’s trick #2 is its slogans. Though riding on a green right horse under the green right flag, its political slogans are not religious based. Vague slogans such as ‘new Pakistan’, ‘no landlordism’, ‘justice’, “no drones’, and in Karachi rally they said: “Aafia is Pakistan’s daughter and US should return her”-- (the nation is however not told how deep she was involved with terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11). The party avoids using slogans of Sharia, Islam and Khilafat as those are no more selling chants for rallying general masses at public places. The choice of slogans is deliberate and the aim is to make it acceptable to voters across the board.
Music is PTI's trick #3---that is the item girl of the PTI’s rallies. The rightists, specially religious rightists, abhor music on TV, Radio or in PPP rallies. However, Imran Khan is using it for a ‘good cause’ and seems it has been approved and accepted for his rallies. It serves both purposes—plasters PTI as a ‘roshan fikar’ party and attracts teens.
The coming weeks and months will show how far the three major tricks will deliver a revolution or what Imran Khan calls it tsunami. One thing is, however, sure that PTI is Pakistan’s another IJI or PML (Qaaf) of 2012. A visit of ISI’s colonel or brigadier is enough to force or convince a politician for joining the 2012 PML (Q), renamed as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by a clean-shaven Mullah. This time, again, the aim is very gentle--to save Pakistan.